Kia Motors America (KMA) and DC Entertainment kicked off the 2012 SEMA Show today in superhero style with five radical machines inspired by the members of the Justice League: The Flash Forte Koup, Aquaman Rio 5-door, Cyborg Forte 5-door, Green Lantern Soul and the previously unveiled Batman Optima. Built by West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street, each of the vehicles feature custom artwork by legendary comic book artist and DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee and are intended to raise awareness for DC Entertainment’s “We Can Be Heroes” giving campaign to help fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. Each Justice League character was assigned to a specific Kia vehicle based on personality and key attributes to create these five iconic works of art on wheels.
“Working together with DC Entertainment, West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street to create a fleet of superhero-inspired machines has been an incredible collaboration and the end result is five one-of-a-kind Justice League cars that bring each of these legendary comic book superheroes to life,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “We are proud to be raising awareness for the ’We Can Be Heroes’ giving campaign and look forward to unveiling three more crime-fighting Kias at future auto shows and comic conventions as our 10-month partnership with DC Entertainment continues.”
”It was a thrill to see custom cars based upon my Justice League artwork and sketches revealed at SEMA,” stated Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Entertainment. “I have to tip my hat to the teams at West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street on their innovative work creating cars that represent iconic characters like Green Lantern, Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash – all to benefit a great cause, ‘We Can Be Heroes’, and I’d like to thank Kia Motors America for supporting ‘We Can Be Heroes’.”
The Flash-inspired Forte Koup:
Known for his speed, drive and commitment to fighting crime, The Flash is paired with the sleek Forte Koup, a vehicle with proven on-track racing performance in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Built by West Coast Customs, the Koup electrifies the senses with a red, orange and yellow airbrushed exterior paint that matches the Scarlet Speedster’s trademark costume. A cutout in the hood incorporates The Flash logo and allows viewers to see the speedy punch the Forte Koup packs. The modifications continue with 20-inch Asanti color-matched wheels with Continental Extreme Contact tires. A custom coilover suspension lowers the Forte Koup for razor-sharp handling.
On the inside, the Forte Koup’s seats are reupholstered in black nappa leather contrasted with red suede featuring yellow stitching with character artwork embroidered into the seats. The headliner was also reupholstered using black suede showcasing custom stitching and custom-painted pieces throughout the interior. To keep the Koup’s occupants energized, West Coast Customs installed two, ten-inch sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp, while a pair of Rosen Entertainment seven-inch monitors plays a “We Can Be Heroes” campaign video in the front headrests.
Aquaman-inspired Rio 5-door:
Given the Kia Rio’s reputation as one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road today – 85-percent of Rio’s materials are recyclable at the end of its lifespan – the subcompact provided a natural automotive alter-ego for Aquaman, symbolizing his role as protector of the environment, both land and sea. The Aquaman-inspired Rio 5-door also received the West Coast Customs treatment with special gold, green and orange exterior paint and a body kit featuring custom-fabricated fins. Visual elements also include Oracle LED wheel rings and body lighting across the exterior as well as 20-inch color-matched Asanti wheels wrapped in Continental rubber.
Inside the Rio 5-door’s spacious cabin, the seats have been reupholstered with green leather featuring yellow and gold accents. The headliner has been customized using green suede while the Aquaman logo was stitched into the back seats to complete the thematic transformation of the passenger compartment. Pop the trunk on this Rio and notice the customized enclosure featuring Aquaman comic-book art and a unique polycast cutout which creates an underwater scene that is lit with Oracle LED lighting.
This heroic Rio is further enhanced by a 12-inch subwoofer and two coaxial component speakers and amp while two seven-inch Rosen Entertainment monitors play the “We Can Be Heroes” video to promote this worthy cause.
Green Lantern-inspired Soul:
Based on the intergalactic peacekeeper known as Green Lantern, the Super Street magazine’s wide-body Soul shines with a green and black two-tone exterior paint scheme complete with green mirror-chrome tint on the windows. Super Street’s build team lowered the Soul to improve its stance and applied widened wheel wells with one-off 18 x 10.5-inch deep-dish wheels. Traditionally a four-door vehicle, the Soul’s back doors have been welded shut to streamline its appearance. Blacked out headlights feature projector beams that glow green. Customized Green Lantern-logo fog lights in the widened front fascia, and green LED lighting further enhance the overall appearance of the Soul – this machine is ready for anything, just like Green Lantern.
A custom rear cargo compartment houses the Green Lantern power battery with his signature lantern logo etched into a clear panel displaying the superhero’s oath lit by LEDs. The rear deck also holds a video monitor to display the “We Can Be Heroes” promotional video. Up front, the Soul’s steering wheel and front seats were reupholstered with green and black leather and includes the Green Lantern logo stitched into the seat backs. Other interior touches include various dash pieces painted in the green and black scheme.
Cyborg-inspired Forte 5-door:
Built by RIDES magazine and based on Cyborg, the half human/half machine superhero for the modern age, the athletic and agile Kia Forte 5-door embodies Cyborg’s communications prowess, power and endurance. It features coilover suspension for more aggressive maneuverability and widened custom metal fenders that recall Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any challenge. This robotic road machine sits on 18-inch Rotiform TMB wheels with chrome lip and red anodized bolts. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood and side ports with red LED lights. An Aztec silver paint job enhances the fluid lines and balanced proportions of the Forte 5-door, while matching the polished steel of Cyborg’s armor.
The vehicle interior consists of red perforated leather and red suede similar to the red glow pulsing from Cyborg’s power core. Red and silver trim highlights the Cyborg emblem featured within the interior design. The tablet in the center console reinforces the fact that Cyborg is constantly plugged in—a hub for communication and information. And the JL Audio sound system is another technological enhancement that highlights the fun side of the Justice League’s youngest member.
Batman Optima SX Limited:
Previously unveiled at New York’s Time Warner Center, Kia, DC Entertainment and RIDES magazine worked together to design and build the Batman-inspired Optima. RIDES transformed the exterior with a matte- and piano-black paint scheme, a dramatically lowered coilover suspension and muscular ground effects kit, huge Ksport performance brakes for extreme stopping power, custom-designed 20-inch black wheels with one-of-a-kind Batman-logo center caps and a performance exhaust system. Other exterior modifications include a custom front grille shaped like a batwing that took over 40 hours to create, yellow LED lighting accents throughout the vehicle and the iconic bat signal etched into the SXL’s HID headlights.
Moving beneath the cape, the Optima‘s seating surfaces are costumed in custom black leather and suede with bold yellow accent stitching. Gotham City‘s streets are full of villains, and this Optima is ready for action at a moment‘s notice with crime-fighting elements like utility throwing stars installed in the center console.
KMA and DCE Partnership
The partnership between KMA and DC Entertainment was conceived to benefit “We Can Be Heroes” (www.WeCanBeHeroes.org), a giving campaign, dedicated to helping fight hunger in the Horn of Africa and inspired by the heroism of the iconic Justice League characters. “We Can Be Heroes” encourages everyday people to join the fight by getting involved and donating to bring help and hope to the people most affected by the hunger crisis. Each vehicle will feature a customized piece of Jim Lee’s specially-designed artwork to be auctioned at the conclusion of the program with all net proceeds going to the “We Can Be Heroes” program. The Kia-DC Entertainment partnership includes seven vehicles inspired by the individual super hero characters and will culminate with a fully-drivable, eighth custom car that encompasses each member of the Justice League that will be auctioned off to raise money for the cause. Kia will help to raise awareness for the “We Can Be Heroes” giving campaign throughout the partnership through customized “We Can Be Heroes” license plates, signage, collateral materials and in-vehicle video displays.
Stay tuned for more news on this partnership. Now that five vehicles have been seen, there are three more to be unveiled at various auto shows and Comic-Cons over the next several months including Wonder Woman, Superman and a final vehicle that will feature all seven characters of the Justice League to be auctioned off to benefit the “We Can Be Heroes” giving campaign.
Source: DC Comics Press Release
Compiled By: Josh Martin